Flaherty and Collins tapped for MSA site development

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The City of Indianapolis has chosen Flaherty and Collins to develop the former Market Square Arena site.

The $81 million plan calls for 300 luxury apartments and 28 stories. The developer hopes to start work by the beginning of 2014.

The plan also calls for 500 parking spaces and 43,600 square feet of ground floor retail, as well as green space, a pool on the parking/retail roof, a green sky window on the tower roof, and apartments with panoramic views of Indianapolis through floor-to-ceiling windows and balconies.

The project will offer one- and two-bedroom apartments with rents anticipated to range from $1,300-$2,400 per month.

Indianapolis will contribute $17.8 million to the project by investing property taxes generated from the project back into the development. Pending approval by the Metropolitan Development Commission and City-County Council, construction is expected to start next spring and be completed in late 2015.

The land has been a parking lot ever since crews demolished the arena 12 years ago. A lot of ideas have been floated, and there have been attempts to build something over the past decade. But amid lean economic times, ground has never been broken.

Past proposals have included skyscrapers with mixed use of residential, commercial and retail. One recent proposal included a 52-story skyscraper that would have been the city's tallest building.

See all of the proposals here.

City officials have said in the past that this needs to be a true Indianapolis landmark, "To have something that when you see a picture of Indianapolis' skyline, you immediately recognize it as Indianapolis," said Mark Lotter, spokesman for Mayor Greg Ballard.

The MSA project will add to a building boom that's currently happening downtown. Right now, there are 30 projects under construction with 2000 new apartments set to open next year.

Planners say this area needs more apartments because people continue to move downtown.